When you book a cruise you have the option of selecting a specific cabin, or booking a “guarantee.” A guarantee means you will get a cabin at that category, and sometimes you get one at a better category. But, an upgrade is not “guarantee”d.
Cruise ships have lots of different categories for cabins – from small, inside to the big penthouse. I am a middle of the road kind of girl. I don’t like the idea of being in a small cabin with no natural light. I really don’t need the penthouse – referring back to my post on hotels – quantity over quality!
I’ve been on one cruise so far in my life. Upon the advice of my travel agent – and awesome aunt – I booked a guarantee for a cabin with a balcony. I received a small upgrade to a cabin located closer to the middle of the ship. I was very happy with my accommodations for the first cruise.
I have another cruise scheduled in January 2012. My parents are taking the whole family on a Caribbean cruise to celebrate their 50th anniversary. It is important to my mom that we be together, so she booked specific cabins – 6 in a row.
You don’t book a guarantee if you aren’t willing to take some risk, or if you have specific expectations about where your cabin is located and the category. With 13 people in 6 cabins I think my mom made the right decision.
My next cruise leaves on September 25th. I booked a guarantee in the middle of the balcony categories. I’ve been checking several times a day for the past couple of weeks to find out what cabin I’d been assigned. I admit to being a little anxious about the unknown, especially this close to departure. (Another reason to book a specific cabin – no last-minute anxiety about what cabin you will get.)
I finally received my cabin assignment today for Holland America’s Noordam – 4176. This is a three category upgrade from the guarantee I purchased. I’m pretty excited about this cabin because it is an aft cabin with lots more balcony space than the others – several feet more space!